NCSA Position Statement

The Need for Innovative Research 

In spite of considerable investments in research, a decreasing proportion of autism studies focus on the severe end of the spectrum. Profound impairments in communication and disruptive behaviors often preclude cooperation with necessary assessments and procedures. Meaningful accommodations must be developed and implemented to make autism research truly inclusive. 

The NCSA recommends that research intensify efforts in the following areas: 

  • Medical and nonmedical interventions to address the needs of those affected by severe autism

  • Comorbidities that frequently afflict those with severe autism, such as seizures, insomnia, mental illness, pica, anxiety, oppositional defiance, immune disorders, gastrointestinal distress, and others

  • Etiological factors, including gene-environment, epigenetic, and environmental factors

  • Prevalence and demographics, including better population data on qualitative characteristics, family characteristics, and birth year, to facilitate better policy and service planning

Adopted by NCSA Board of Directors December 10, 2018

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